Category Archives: Teams

Podcast Episode 056: Leaders & Great Groups [2]

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_1In this episode I continue my focus on one of my favourite business books ‘Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration’ by Warren Bennis & Patricia Biederman. I am interested in their take home lessons final chapter, drawing conclusions about great leadership and great teams from six in-depth case studies.

I use three of my own favourite experiences of being a part of teams that have made significant achievements in their own local ways, both as a personal reflection and as an illustration of the 15 messages identified in the book. Five further messages are explored in this episode, in addition to the five messages in episode 55 and a final five messages in the next episode. I reflect on the excitement of starting from scratch in helping to develop a new idea, and how great groups feel like they are on a mission, and develop a sense of separateness from all the other services around them.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/056-leaders-great-groups-2/id867043694?i=341592553&mt=2

“Find people who share your values, and you will conquer the world together.” [John Ratzenberger].

Advertisements

Podcast Episode 055: Leaders & Great Groups [1]

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_1In this episode I focus on one of my favourite business books ‘Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration’ by Warren Bennis & Patricia Biederman.

I am interested in their take home lessons final chapter, drawing conclusions about great leadership and great teams from six in-depth case studies. I use three of my own favourite experiences of being a part of teams that have made significant achievements in their own local ways, both as a personal reflection and as an illustration of the 15 messages identified in the book.

Five messages are explored in this and each of the following two episodes of the show. Can great leaders exist without having great people around them, or can great groups exist without a recognised great leader? Can the intense bright light of the great teams be sustained?

For the full content of this episode click on iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/055-leaders-great-groups-1/id867043694?i=340049505&mt=2

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams.

 

Targeted training

Working-with-StrengthsIn health and social care services we have a long tradition of adopting a scatter-gun approach to staff training. Perhaps this is why staff members often feel negative about mandatory training initiatives, or feel that provision is often made as a knee-jerk response to something going wrong. More generous feedback emerges from events that individual’s have personally chosen to attend, but these often have little positive ripple effect out into the team they are part of… if you weren’t there you simply aren’t going to know much about it.

The Practice Based Evidence initiative has long tried to establish a strengths approach to training, as well as to working with service users. The essence is to get all team members to provide a baseline evaluation of the good and not so good practice in their team, against a series of positive statements of best practice that should be relevant to the way they work. Hence, several Practice Based Evidence tools were devised to address different types of teams and different person-centred approaches to working.

In the case of one of the Newham Community Mental Health Teams in 2006 an honest anonymised evaluation of team practice helped to identify the priorities for a subsequent 5-day programme tailored to their needs. This example illustrates how a practice development approach to training initiatives can respond to the needs identified by practitioners themselves, impact on the practice of a whole team, and engage people more in the process of change. This is how a strengths approach can apply as much to team development as it should do for working with service users.

More recently, in 2014/15, a programme of work with North East London NHS Foundation Trust acute care services focused on the place of positive risk-taking in relation to the work of crisis assessment and home treatment teams, including the teams for adult and older adults services. The programme commenced with team-based training workshops in order to focus in on relevant current clinical material and practices. It was followed up some 6-9 months later with in-service conversational semi-structured interviews of 28 staff, and a further number of Practice Based Evidence designed for purpose evaluation tools. The final reporting is a means of identifying positive practice, as well as giving staff a means for identifying what they can and need to change in order to improve the implementation of best practice.

“Practice is the hardest part of learning, and training is the essence of transformation.” [Ann Voskamp].

Podcast Episode 049: Anne Clilverd Interview ~ Team-Working

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2An interview with Anne Clilverd as she reflects back on three specific teams to identify what elements contribute to good team-working.

An acute admissions ward where, despite being based on a hierarchy, a strong sense of belonging was fostered. The environment was supportive through all staff being encouraged to contribute their observations in a way that was respected by multidisciplinary colleagues.

Compass as a walk-in advice and mental health centre also offering a degree of outreach work as a new initiative at a time when long-stay hospitals were beginning to be closed down. This initiative was joint funded and managed by health and social care, operating as a small multidisciplinary team of four people committed to a strong set of values and principles. As a group the workers need to feel confident to have their ideas openly and constructively critiqued; and they were supported by an advisory group that included several service users and representatives of local voluntary sector services.

As team manager Anne worked in the Kings cross Community Mental Health Team. This type of team functions as a group of individuals who come together for a common purpose, but belonging may be more to the team name than a sense of full collective working. The team manager carries the specific responsibility to stamp a personality on the team through a vision for common goals and purpose, and the quality of supervision as a means for encouraging reflection and professional/personal development.

Anne also briefly reflects on the optimal size of good functioning teams. For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/049-anne-clilverd-interview/id867043694?i=337032545&mt=2

Podcast Episode 048: Team Strengths Assessment

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2We all work in teams from time-to-time but how much do we really focus on identifying and developing the individual talents of the workers, and the overall strengths of good team-working?

A team is a group of people coming together for a common purpose or goal, and often it is the challenges and difficulties that define the work of the team that will most influence its outlook in terms of development. All too often teams and services look on training and developing the areas of weakness, to the detriment of boosting and exploiting areas of success into areas of excellence.

In this episode I outline my categorisation of teams in relation to the degree in which they relate to, identify, and work with strengths, and the Team Strengths Assessment tool that I developed in the early 2000’s to support this area of practice development. Examples of three types of mental health teams are referred to as examples where these tools have been used.

To access the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/048-team-strengths-assessment/id867043694?i=336480841&mt=2

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” [Margaret Mead].

 

Podcast Episode 039: Team-working with Kirt Hunte

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Steve Morgan in conversation with Kirt Hunte about what contributes to good team-working. We frequently make a claim to be a team but function more as a group of individuals.

What influence does the team manager or team leader have on the identity and function of the team? Can a talented group of individuals simply come together as a great team? Does the size of the team have any affect on its ability to function as a team?

The creativity and risk-taking required for developing a new initiative is very different from the long term sustainability of an established team or service. Kirt and Steve reflect on football teams and mental health teams through their observations and experiences over many years. Reference is also made to the book entitled ‘Organizing Genius’ by Warren Bennis and Patricia Biederman describing and analysing seven case studies of great teams.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/039-team-working-kirt-hunte/id867043694?i=328112639&mt=2

 

Podcast Episode 038: Strengths Focused Teams

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Good teamworking, as with so many things, is easily stated and claimed, but not always so easily evidenced. Bringing people together under the name of a specific ‘team’ doesn’t necessarily mean that they function as a true team.

From a strengths perspective, Steve Morgan offers a taxonomy of strengths focused teams… looking at three different levels in relation to the degree of strengths thinking and working that are incorporated into routine teamworking. He further develops the analysis of teamworking through outlining six principles of strengths-based teams… adapted from the original strengths principles focused on how we work with service users or clients.

It is recognised that in any given team there will be individuals who function at different levels in relation to strengths-based principles and practice; however, the extensive Gallup organisation research invites us to improve our overall effectiveness and value by focusing more in a strengths way of working.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/038-strengths-focused-teams/id867043694?i=327596020&mt=2

“With an enthusiastic team you can achieve almost anything.” [Tahir Shah].